OPENING THIS WEEK
THE CRUCIBLE • ACT
THE FABLE OF THE FOX • Northwest Puppet Center
A QUESTION OF MERCY • Intiman
RENNIE HARRIS PUREMOVEMENT • On the Boards
SHUT-IN • Piece of Meat
THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL • Taproot Theater
TRUST • Vagabond Productions
ONE WEEK ONLY
ALL ONE TRIBE • Northwest Asian American Theater
FIRST JOURNEY • International Dance Collaborative
HAPPY DAYS • Sisyphus Project
NO TALENT CABARET • Seattle Men's Chorus
CLOSING THIS WEEK
1918 • Theater Schmeater
DEALER'S CHOICE • Empty Space
EVITA • Paramount
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING FUCKED UP • Odd Duck
PARALLEL LIVES: THE KATHY AND MO SHOW • Theater Schmeater
STRAIGHT • Re-bar
OPENING AND CURRENT RUNS
1918--A deadly inflamesuenza epidemic brings feverish epiphanies to a small town in Texas: Yes, family really matters. A feel-good play by Horton Foote (The Trip to Bountiful), directed by James Lapan. Theater Schmeater, 1500 Summit Ave, 324-5801. Thurs-Sat at 8, Sun at 2, through May 8. $12-$15.
ARTICHOKE--Walter's been living in the smokehouse for 14 years, banished by his wife. They're about to be visited by a world-weary wanderer, just in time for harvest. A "charming slice-of-life comedy" by Joanna Glass, directed by Karen Kinch. The Little Theater, South Seattle Community College, 6000 16th Ave SW, 938-0339. Thurs-Fri at 8, Sat at 4 & 8, through May 22. $10-$17.
THE CRUCIBLE--Arthur Miller's classic based on the Salem witch trials blah blah blah, here performed by ACT debut-ers Stephen Rowe, Laura Ann Worthen, and Hedy Burress. ACT, 7th & Union St, 292-7676. Tues-Thurs at 7:30; Fri, Sat at 8 pm; Sun at 7; some matinees, through May 30. $10-$40.
DEALER'S CHOICE--"Set in a modest London restaurant, the play circles around a weekly poker game. The arch of Marber's drama follows one night and one game, during which the personal as well as financial stakes are raised a little too high. In balancing such a character-driven piece with its economic and class-based themes, director Rod Pilloud meets the script's challenges with surprising grace. Of course, casting an impeccable ensemble helps, too. But this tired territory has been mined once too often. It's time both sides of the Atlantic found a new metaphor." (Tonia Steed) Empty Space Theater, 3509 Fremont Ave N, 547-7500. Tues-Thurs at 7:30, Fri at 8, Sat at 2 & 8, Sun at 2 & 7, through May 9. $16-$25.
*HAPPY DAYS--See Calendar Box. On the Boards, 100 W Roy, 217-9888. Fri-Sat at 8, this week only. $10.
IDENTIKIT--"When I walk into a theater's lobby before a show and find the actors placed about, striking odd poses, my first response is: uh-oh. Identikit is like a particularly ambitious episode of Zoom, or drama therapy for earnest adults, replete with cries of 'Who am I?' It doesn't help that Kresny has her cast perform as if they're inventing the wheel. Every elliptical phrase, every smirk, every elbow seems burdened by the importance of its mission, and even the silliest moments have a forced whimsy about them." (Steve Wiecking) Annex Theater, 1916 4th Ave, 728-0933. Thurs-Sat at 8, Sun at 7, through May 15. $10.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING FUCKED UP--Scott O. Moore--a man with many personalities--attempts to answer the musical question, "Huh? What?" Odd Duck Theater, 1214 10th Ave, 323-0428. Fri-Sat at 8, through May 8. $7.
THE LADY FROM THE SEA--Ibsen intense-fest casting a mysterious sailor in the role of epiphany-bringer to Ellida, a woman trapped in a sterile marriage. Playhouse Theater, 4045 University Way, 543-4880. Tues-Thurs at 7:30; Fri-Sat at 8; Sun at 2, through May 15. $7-$8.
LATE NIGHT CATECHISM--And the nun goes on. Somebody really likes cute Catholics. This is an evening of audience participation and interactive improv theater: think Sister Windy crossed with Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You. First Covenant Church, 400 E Pike, 292-ARTS. Thurs-Sat at 8, Sun at 2, extended for eternity. $24.50-$29.50.
NINEHOLES99--Theater Babylon's annual revue of original 10-minute scripts, this year featuring local talent such as Bret Fetzer alongside out-of-towners. Union Garage, 1418 10th Ave, 720-1942. Thurs-Sat at 8, through May 29. $9.99 (Thurs is pay-what-you-will).
POONA THE FUCKDOG--Described as "children's theater for grown-ups," Poona comes complete with an onstage narrator, declamatory characters, and lots of good-n-nasty sex. Penned by Chicago playwright Jeff Goode (whose anti-Christmas show The Eight created quite a buzz off-Broadway last year), Poona promises an evening of brazen comedy and a "leg-humping assault on the power of language." Open Circle Theater, 429 Boren Ave N, 382-4250. Thurs-Sat at 8, Sun at 7, through May 22. $10/$12. See review this issue.
SHUT-IN--Piece of Meat playwrights Eric Layer and Christopher Tharp, always gritty, present the story of ex-drag queen Francis, confined to his attic room, and a young couple looking for lodging. The cast, featuring John Q. Smith, Stephen Hando, and Hillary Ketchum, promises heavyweight spectacle. Nu Black Arts West, 153 14th Ave, 860-3152. Thurs-Sat at 8, through May 29. $10.
*STRAIGHT--David Schmader is a funny man. Unfortunately, he was born gay. In Straight, Schmader searches for a remedy, throwing himself into sessions with a Bellevue psychotherapist, "ex-gay" support groups--even venturing into Texas. In the process, he examines the ethics of conversion therapy and what it means to be "straight." Schmader, whose last play, Exploring Whoring, ran extended sold-out performances last summer at the Re-bar, has been called "tough, smart, nasty, witty, and constantly surprising" (John McFarland). Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, 323-0388. Fri-Sun at 8, through May 9. $10 (21 & over).
THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL--Horton Foote's play about a lonely elderly woman who takes off on a Thelma & Louise-type road trip when she forgets to take her meds. With Cynthia Jennings-White. Taproot Theater, 204 N 85th St, 781-9707. Wed-Thurs at 7:30; Fri at 8; Sat at 2 & 8, through June 12. $16-$22.
TRUST--Local playwright Steven Dietz (Private Eyes) sizes up relationships and honesty, answering that ever prickly question, "What are you thinking about?" Northwest Actors Studio, 1100 E Pike, 324-6328. Fri-Sat at 8; Sun at 7, through May 22. $10/$8.
A QUESTION OF MERCY--David Rabe's off-Broadway assisted suicide hit wends its way to Seattle. A young man dying of AIDS-related complications seeks relief from a Kevorkian-esque physician. Directed by Victor Pappas. Intiman Playhouse, Seattle Center, 269-1900. Tues-Wed at 7; Thurs-Sat at 8, Sun at 7, through June 5. $10-$12.
FESTIVALS, CABARETS, & COMEDY
BONANZA --Printer's Devil Theater's annual workshop series. Week #11 features Isaac, a retelling of the Old Testament narrative by David Schulner. Speakeasy Cafe Backroom, 2304 Second Ave, 860-7163. Mon-Tues at 7:30, through May 18. Donation.
DAMN YANKEES--The devil and baseball can ruin your soul, as proven in this expletive-driven musical. Directed by Rich Gray. (Warning: The musicians are on strike, so you'll have to cross a picket line.) Jane Addams Theater, 11051 34th NE (off Lake City Way), 363-2809. Thurs-Sat at 8, Sun at 2:30, through May 15. $14-$18.
THE DONK SISTERS--Travel from frills to feminism with three country gals. Karen Kay Cody, Bobbi Kotula, and Vickielee Wohlbach reprise their roles as the Donk Sisters, honky-tonking their way through favorites such as "Listen to a Country Song," and "Harper Valley PTA" in the Cabaret de Paris dinner show. Crepe de Paris Restaurant, 1333 Fifth Ave at Union (Rainier Square), 623-4111. Thurs at 8; Fri-Sat at 8:30, through June 26. $40/$16.
EVITA --Andrew Lloyd Webber's paean to the power of a strict hairdo, Eva Peron's eminence grise. The 20th- anniversary tour features an all-new cast of Latino actors in the leading roles. Paramount Theater, 911 Pine St, 682-1414. Tues-Sat at 8, Sat & Sun at 2, Sun at 7, through May 9. $23-$48.50.
THE FABLE OF THE FOX--An Aesop's fable presented by a famous group of puppeteers from Spain, featuring a set that sprouts up flamesowers and has a real stream running through it! Northwest Puppet Center, 9123 15th Ave NE, 523-2579. Fri at 7:30; Sat-Sun at 1 & 3, through May 23. $5.50-$7.50.
JULIE CASCIOPPO EXPERIENCE--Songs and characters you may grow to love. The Pink Door, Pike Place Market, 1919 Post Alley, 443-3241. Tues at 8:30 & 11. No cover.
NO TALENT CABARET--The Seattle Men's Chorus blows off steam with the Ditzy Jeopardy Quiz, a Liza Minnelli drag, and lotsa booze. ARO.Space, 10th & Pike, 323-2992. Fri-Sat at 8, this week only. $20.
RADIO MAMBO--"The comic force and vocal prowess on display are worth the price of admission alone (including an astonishing take on an African American hard-timer), and the material simmers with a sharp awareness of where the lines are drawn in racial and social politics (when was the last time you saw a pro-Castro piece of theater?). Radio Mambo is an uneasy but welcome attempt to mesh wide appeal with political expression." (Steve Wiecking) Seattle Repertory Theater, 155 Mercer St, 443-2222. Tues-Sun at 7:30, Sat & Sun at 2, through May 23. $25-$36.
*TEATRO ZINZANNI--Three hours of fancy food and thrilling spectacle from the world over, presented in an antique European dance hall imported from Belgium for the occasion. Worth the price just to watch local wonder Kevin Kent work his jaw-dropping magic on crowds who've never set foot in a fringe theater. Seattle Center, 222 Mercer St, 281-7788 ext 700 or 292-ARTS. Thurs-Sat at 7:30, Sun at 6:30, extended through May 30. $88.
*THREE DOLLAR BILL--Seattle's original Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual stand-up comedy show still stands in its second year. "Defying all expectations, $3 Bill is refreshingly raunchy, full of scathing goodness" (Steven Grimm). Comedy Underground, 222 S Main St, 324-8025. Tues at 8:30. $6.
WOMEN ON TAP--Local playwright Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates' musical
drama was inspired by Jeni LeGon, the first African American woman to sign with
a major studio (MGM). LeGon's journey from Chicago to Broadway is portrayed
through drama, music, and tap dance; now 80 years old, she still teaches tap
in Vancouver, BC. You go, girl! Langston Hughes Cultural Arts Center,
104 17th Ave S (at Yesler), 684-4757. Fri-Sat at 8, Sun at 2, through May 22.
ALL ONE TRIBE--Original dance theater choreographed by Northwest Asian American Theater's Bengie Santos, exploring rituals and rhythms common between cultures. Theater Off Jackson, 409 Seventh S, 340-1049. Thurs-Sat at 8, this week only. $20.
FIRST JOURNEY--East meets West in modern takes on tradition by choreographers Erica Rebollar, Eko Supriyanto, and Sen Hea Ha. Seattle Mime Theater, 915 E Pine St, 324-8788. Fri-Sun at 8, this week only. $3.
*RENNIE HARRIS PUREMOVEMENT--Puremovement is a combination of hiphop elements like B-boy and house dancing, set in the tradition of African and African-American rhythm. Choreographer Harris brings his 10-member ensemble to the formal stage, incorporating street dance with Shakespearean narrative and live animation. On the Boards, 100 W Roy St, 217-9888. Thurs-Sun, May 6-9 at 8; Fri-Sun, May 14-16 at 8. $16-$18.
THE A.M. CABARET--Amoral entertainment for insomniacs; promising naked poetry, music, strippers, and drag queens. You may think you're dreaming. Coffee Messiah, 1554 E Olive Way, 860-7377. Sat from 2-4 am. $5.
JET CITY IMPROV--Improv comedy and music based on audience suggestions. Ethnic Cultural Theater, 3940 Brooklyn Ave NE, 781-3879. Fri-Sat at 10:30.
PARALLEL LIVES: THE KATHY AND MO SHOW--The two supreme beings return for late-night explorations of male menstruation and the secret desires of Kenny Rogers. Theater Schmeater, 1500 Summit Ave, 324-5801. Fri-Sat at 11, through May 8. $8.
SPIN THE BOTTLE--Annex's late-night performance is a slumgullion of juggling, dance, singing, and silhouettes, cultivated by the finely tuned Bret Fetzer. Annex Theater, 1916 Fourth Ave, 729-0933. First Fri of every month. No reservations. $5.
THEATER SPORTS--Improv comedy with a competitive edge, brought to you by Unexpected Productions. Market Theater, 1428 Post Alley, 781-9273. Fri-Sat at 10:30, $9; Sun at 7, $5.
UP IN YOUR GRILL--The fourth annual comedy cabaret from those shameless
folks on the fringe comedy circuit. Annex Theater, 1916 Fourth Ave, 325-5743.
Fri-Sat at 11, through May 14. $5.
BUTOH WORKSHOP--People interested in Butoh as a performing art or relaxation method are encouraged to attend workshops given by Itto Morita and Mika Takeuchi, May 13, 14, & 17, $10-$30. Call Antonio at 706-5674 or NWAAT at 340-1445 to register.
DRAMA DOCK--Vashon Island's community theater will hold auditions for Moon Over Buffalo, a comedy by Ken Ludwig, on Fri, May 7 at 7 pm, and Sat May 8 at 2 pm, at the Harbor School on Vashon Highway. Four males and four females are needed. Call Nancy Bachant at 463-6276 for information.
WOMAN IN MIND--Auditions for a production to be directed by Scott Morrison, held Sat May 1 & Sun May 2 from noon to 4 pm. Call Traci at 726-9196 for an audition appointment.